In the second of the two-part series, Fashion Forward, we shine the spotlight on Singapore’s latest fashion muses, Vivien Ong and Eugene Lin as they talk about life in the fashion industry.
Ashley Isham, Daniel Boey, Nadya Hutagalung, Sheila Sim. These illustrious veterans of the fashion industry turn heads at the mere mention of their names, an undeniable proof that this little red dot has got talents who can hold their own against other fashion heavyweights on the global stage of glitz and glamour. Increasingly, we see the international spotlight cast on local fashion designers and models, with supermodel Vivien Ong and Women’s apparel designer, Eugene Lin being Singapore’s latest fashion muses.
Standing at 1.76m tall, Ong is taking the fashion world by storm. She was propelled into the limelight after sashaying down international runways alongside supermodels Karlie Kloss and Anja Rubik in Paris Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week earlier this October.
Ong’s break into the modelling industry came after being crowned the winner of The New Paper New Face in 2010. Dubbed the ‘It’ girl of the moment, she credits her success to having prior exposure in Singapore. “Getting recognition in Paris allows people to know you as you are in pictures or on the runway as a model. Being exposed in Singapore on the other hand shows a model’s personality, on and off duty. It helps people to know you better and makes you more personable.”
Vivien modeling limited-edition Christmas merchandises for Christmas On A Great Street's media conference.
The androgynous-looking model who is signed on to Paris modelling agency, NEXT, tells OSU that modelling was not always her course of choice in life. The Communication and Information Design student turned supermodel says, “One opportunity came after another, and of course I took them. In modelling, time is imperative. The same options don’t come back again”.
Lin, a women’s apparel designer, is yet another example of how opportunities should be seized when they beckon. He was presented with the chance to further fuel his creative potential at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design College. “One does not turn down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a world-class education in fashion,” says Lin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, with Honours., Thereafter, he honed his skills at various established designers such as Preen, Viviene Westwood and Ashley Islam..
The London-based designer started his own line of clothing in 2009 and recently presented his critically acclaimed Spring/Summer collection, ‘The Judgement of Paris’ during the Digital Fashion Week in Singapore. Since then, his work has been featured in various publications, with Phoenix Magazine commending his collection as “a rousing success”, serving as a testament to his creative abilities.
However, success does not come overnight. The design guru advises people who aspire to walk down similar paths, “Go hard or go home. You have to learn to take risks, internships and a hell lot of sacrifice to reach for your dreams”.
With all eyes set on the East and as we start to see more Asian luminaries gracing the coveted covers of magazines and showcasing their creations on international platforms, Asia is gradually gaining the impetus to excel in the fashion industry.. Nestled in the heart of Asia, Singapore will do well in seizing this opportunity to grab this fashion bull by the horns.
By Abigail Tan